The 5 Love Languages – Insights from Gary Chapman

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Quotes - Love by Dr. SeussThe Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages where he describes that each of us communicates love differently. Gary is a marriage counselor and gives seminars on improving marriages. This topic is perfect with Valentine’s Day around the corner. His book can help you learn how you and others communicate.

Below are the five communication groups. Gary says each one of us has a “love language” that is more dominant followed by a secondary language. Which ones of the below resonates with how you feel love?

1. Words of Affirmation – When someone gives you a positive comment, do you feel loved? What words are you using to correspond with people? The words you use are important so use them with empathy and see from the other person’s perspective. Take responsibility for your words. As Oprah says “I believe three of the most important words anyone can say are not I love you, but I hear you.”

2. Quality Time – This is when someone is giving you their undivided attention or doing something for you. Do you feel loved when your spouse takes you to lunch or you go for a walk together? Quality time also includes quality conversation. Give someone your full attention and not text or watch television when someone is talking to you.

3. Receiving Gifts – This can be material or non-material items. When you receive a gift you know someone has thought about you. A gift of self may be the most important gift you can give someone. My daughter and my friend Darlene are excellent gift givers. They give gifts that you would buy yourself. I believe it is because they are paying attention to what is important to the person they are gifting.

4. Acts of Service – This is when someone gives themselves to you by doing something for you like picking up groceries, emptying the dishwasher, or cooking a meal. Acts of service need to come from the heart and not from manipulation or control.

5. Physical Touch – Giving someone a hug, holding hands, sitting next to someone, or just touching someone on the shoulder as you walk by are just some of the ways you can express touch.

If you want to figure out the love languages of others, pay attention to what they most request and complain about. That will tell you what their love language is. By giving back what others are demonstrating, they will feel your love more. Otherwise you may not be communicating effectively and it may seem as if you are talking in a foreign language. An example would be if your husband cleans the house but your predominant love language is words of affirmation, then you might look at his actions as simply performing a chore. And when you find out what your love language is, tell your partner. The more honest and open you are, the better you communicate.
It comes down to what we value. We give to others what we want in return. When we learn the love languages, we become effective communicators of love and life.

Gary’s website has a quiz you can take to find out your love language.

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